I am more and more impressed with Pronoun for self-publishing. I’ve been with the platform for only a couple of days and already things are happening. It isn’t reporting to me that I’ve made any money yet, but things are happening. A Kindle edition of Galaxy Dog is listed on Goodreads, and it already has a four star rating on Goodreads. Here it is, Galaxy Dog on the Kindle store.
And the cover images that Pronoun generates for its own use on the site are absolutely gorgeous. The ebooks are pictured as if they were a hardback with a textured cover. It gives the effect of a book that has been printed directly on the boards, a nice rough white buckram for example, giving a lovely textured feel. For more about the importance of the feel of covers, this is a nice article about the texture of sci-fi and fantasy books. See the rendered version of Iron Dart - the second book in the Dark Galaxy series - with textured cover and a little shadow below it in all its glory here.
Uploading the book to a new aggregator also gives the opportunity of writing a new blurb. Here’s he blurb I came up with for Amazon:
Galaxy Dog is an old-school story of robots, spaceships and rebellion across a galactic empire. A small group of friends, one woman, one man, and one robot incite a revolt and take on the might of the Tarazet Deep Space Navy. They find an immensely powerful alien spaceship so, even though the rebellion is extremely outnumbered, they still stand a chance. Galaxy Dog combines the action of military sci-fi with the heart of space opera. There are robots, aliens, space battles, and all the good things that make sci-fi so enjoyable.
Of course, blurbs always feel like marketing hooey, and more of a hindrance than a help sometimes in selecting a novel, but I know I read them. There are also some peculiarities of a sci-fi blurb that make them particularly difficult to craft. In sci-fi, the setting itself usually needs to be hinted at even before the main characters. Like any other work of fiction, there should be some, non-spoliery, set-up of the plot. We need to know what the heroes are fighting against and why. It’s probably not a good idea to go too deeply into the science or world building, no matter how much effort went into that element of the book.
With the blurb done and the book on Amazon, I suddenly noticed there was something called the Amazon Best Sellers Rank, and Galaxy Dog is ranked at #102,570. I immediately had to find out what this means, and Make Use of has a handy explainer. There’s a bunch of detail about how this number is calculated, then a summary of what the ranks mean in book sales.
An Amazon Best Seller Rank of 50,000 to 10,000 means a title is selling close to 1 book a day. A rank of 10,000 to 5,000 is 5 to 25 books a day. A rank of 5,000 to 500 is 25 to 70 books a day. A rank 500 to 350 is 70 to 500 books a day. A rank of 350 to 20 is 500 to 2,000 books a day. Being in the top twenty equates to sales of 2,000 to 4,000 books a day, while a rank 1 to 5 means shifting a whopping 4,000 books a day, or more.
Needless to say, I will be coming back to this page and pressing refresh constantly to see what happens to my rank. I’ll most likely then report what happens here on the blog for the amusement of any readers who happen by. And below is a lovely Amazon link, click it to buy Galaxy Dog.